Bengaluru, October 15: Bengal Warriors lock horns with season two champions U Mumba in semifinal 2 of Pro Kabaddi League 2019 at the EKA Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad on Wednesday (October 16).
U Mumba defeated Haryana Steelers in the eliminators to reach the semifinals. Bengal Warriors, on the other hand, booked a direct spot in semis after finishing second the PKL 2019 standings.
In their two meetings this season, Bengal Warriors got the better of U Mumba. So, Bengal Warriors will be a confident side heading into Wednesday's semifinal. But, recent form of U Mumba will worry BC Ramesh's side as Sanjeev Kumar's team are unbeaten in their last five matches.
Bengal Warriors' form also isn't all that bad as they have lost just one of their last ten games, which shows why they finished in the second spot and start favourites.
This game will see the battle of the one of the best raiders of PKL go up against one of the best defeender as Bengal Warriors' skipper Maninder Singh will go head-to-head against U Mumba skipper Fazel Atrachali.
Maninder Singh is the fifth best raider this season with 205 raid points from 20 games. Fazel Atrachali, meanwhile, is the best defender this season with 81 tackle points from 23 games. So, this contest will be a feisty one which the fans will be keen to watch.
The two teams will undoubtedly depend on their skippers to guide them to the final and the pair have shown their match-winning qualities throughout the season.
Maninder Singh has a lot of support raiders on whom he can rely upon to be revived early. The Bengal Warriors are boosted in the raiding unit thanks to raiders K Prapanjan (99 raid points from 18 games), Sukesh Hegde (46 raid points from 14 games) and all-rounder Nabibakshsh (78 raid points and 29 tackle points from 21 games), who has contributed both in attack as well as defence.
As far as the defence is concerned, Bengal's leading defender is Baldev Singh, who has scored 62 tackle points from 22 games. He is closely followed by Rinku Narwal, who has registered 58 tackle points from 21 games. Their next best defender in versatile and experienced cover Jeeva Kumar who has scored 32 raid points from 20 games. This will make up the starting 7 for BC Ramesh barring any injuries.
U Mumba, meanwhile, led by Fazel Atrachali, have shown they have good pool of raiders they can use starting with Abhishek Singh (151 raid points from 20 games), then they have the likes of Arjun Deshwal (100 raid points from 18 games), Athul MS (57 raid points from 17 games) and Rohit Baliyan (50 raid points from 18 games). They also have Lee Dong Geon along with all-rounders Sandeep Narwal and Ajinkya Kapre to come in for raid if required.
In defence, they are fourth best side this season with 225 tackle points thanks to leadership skills of Fazel Atrachali, who is well supported by Sandeep Narwal (18 raid points and 53 tackle points from 23 games) and Surinder Singh (50 tackle points from 23 games). They will have to contend with weak link Harendra Kumar (20 tackle points from 19 games), but he showed glimpses of form in the last game.
Bengal Warriors: Maninder Singh, Mohammad Nabibakshsh, Rinku Narwal, Sukesh Hegde, K Prapanjan, Jeeva Kumar, Baldev Singh
U Mumba: Fazel Atrachali, Abhishek Singh, Arjun Deshwal, Surinder Singh, Harendra Kumar, Sandeep Narwal, Athul MS
My Dream11: Maninder Singh, Abhishek Singh, Mohammad Nabibakshsh, Fazel Atrachali, Surinder Singh, Baldev Singh, Jeeva Kumar